What would you do - Day old in winter

Kimberkimbre

In the Brooder
Jun 25, 2020
10
6
29
Southern Ontario, Canada
I should've planned this better, but we chose to process our rooster (golden laced wyandottes). The day we did, our sweet Ameraunca finally laid an egg... (Bit of an egg lull here). Wondering if it was fertilized, we popped it in our little incubator and alas, our soltice baby arrived today.

If it were you, and you were overwintering you chicks, would you raise it in the basement until she's old enough, or tuck her into the coop under her mama, in hopes she takes her in. She's not currently broody, but she tends to be often. Maybe it's a funny time of year to have a day old...

Thoughts?
 

Cycomiko

Songster
May 27, 2017
192
612
206
Western Maryland
I'd be wary that the hopeful mamma won't take to her. Easily resulting in death. Being social animals, I think you and some soft music when you're not available will be the only hope for the new born. It is a very delicate issue, meaning nature. The chick needs socialization, but can't get what it needs alone. This isn't the only way, but I'd spend time with it as much as possible, and invest in diapers, because it'll be at least april before you can aclimate it to the weather outside. We had 2 mammas hatch on December 4th, western Maryland, on a mountain below freezing every night, and many days. The feather growth is amazing on them in a short time, but without a mamma under a rain and snow shelter, they could have never made it. Not being mean, just being real. Good luck with whatever you choose. It can weigh alot on you, but if you believe in what you are doing, whatever happens is all you can do. The pic is day olds under mamma on a 30 degree night, I made a straw cave in a cattle panel high tunnel for them.
 

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MissMonty

Songster
5 Years
Sep 12, 2015
497
986
186
Dayton, OH
Most hens won't just take the chick. You'll need to set up a brooder and once the baby is feathered slowly "harden" her off and get her use to the cold before sending her out with the others.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
3,670
6,223
471
Lincolnton, NC
Most hens won't just take the chick. You'll need to set up a brooder and once the baby is feathered slowly "harden" her off and get her use to the cold before sending her out with the others.
Yes. First rational response- there is no need for diapers, that’s just a waste of money and implies the bird will be freely running around your house - ew 🤢
See if you can order chicks, or check with friends who have chickens and see if they can give you a chick or two. If not, just keep her in a brooder with a stuffed animal, a mirror and try and spend as much time with her as you can. You don’t want to turn her into a house chicken (that’s just gross - I don’t care what people say - it’s nasty), and you should be able to integrate her around 8 weeks or whenever she’s fully feathered. No need for all the panic! It will be ok.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,058
22,746
907
Southeast Louisiana
I should've planned this better

How many times have we said this. You are exactly right, in hindsight you'd do differently. But you have to play the hand you are dealt.

would you raise it in the basement until she's old enough, or tuck her into the coop under her mama,

Do not put that chick under a hen that is not broody. This time of year where you are that would be a death sentence. You have to raise it yourself. Aapomp831 gave a good response to that.

Your issue is not just cold, it's also integration. That's harder with just one chick. I've had 5-1/2 week old chicks go through temperatures in the mid 20's F (maybe -4 C) with no heat but your conditions are different from mine. Mine were acclimated to cold weather, there were several of them, and I was not trying to integrate. With those parents your chick should be able to handle any cold southern Ontario can throw at it by 6 or 7 weeks of age with a little acclimitization. Just get it used to cold by taking it outside some.

I don't know what your facilities look like or your flock make-up other than you have adult chickens. In winter your outside facilities may be pretty limited. Trying to integrate immature chicks with adults usually requires extra room. Sine they are social animals trying to integrate a single chick can cause other issues. It will want to be with other chickens and they might not want it around. If we knew more about your facilities, size of coop, size of run, when that run is available (in bad weather, what times of the day), I might be able to tell you how I'd approach that. Photos might be really helpful. But not knowing what you have to work with I cannot give any specific suggestions.
 

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